No matter how large or small the business, retail security is far different from (and often more challenging than) any other enterprise. It is important to consider these differences because they directly impact the choices you make and the effectiveness of your security system.
So, how are retail enterprises different in security concerns? Here are the top 7 ways.

Multi-Focus Physical Security

Retailers have the difficult job of providing physical security across the entire footprint of the store. This is because most of the structure and merchandise is within reach of the public. The public is unvetted and roams freely.

Unusually Vulnerable Storefront

Many stores have a storefront that is largely glass, and highly vulnerable. Additionally, the business is usually closed at night which makes it much more of a target to potential thieves.

Largely Centered Around Loss Prevention

Unlike non-retail enterprises, retail stores must focus on loss prevention with a focus on video surveillance technologies covering vulnerable areas such as the retail floor, storage areas, and POS.

There is a Need for Advanced Analytics

In retail, one of the best ways to gain actionable insight on product, store, or employee performance is through detailed video analytics. These systems provide intelligence by capturing, analyzing, and reporting real-time data that help retailers make strategic decisions designed to improve operational efficiency and profitability.

Security Solutions Must Also Help Improve Customer Experience

Another important facet of retail security is that it should also provide a way to help improve customer experience. Retailers use it to review how the business works or doesn’t, as well as gauge customer satisfaction with transactions, employee performance, and how customers interact with product and displays.

Vulnerability to Fraud

Stores are also very vulnerable to acts of fraud such as slip and fall or claims of being injured on displays or by products or shopping carts and must consider this element in planning their security strategies. Injury claims are costly and very difficult to dispute in court without clear video of the event.

Injury Prevention

In addition to preventing acts of fraud, the retail security must also focus on preventing actual injury. Retailers must have a multi-view of the store and operations to eliminate obstructions and correct potentially dangerous conditions, such as folded or rippled mats or wet floors.

In the retail environment, security must enhance safety and improve overall operational efficiencies. Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service and independently-owned security company and understands the unique security needs retailers face.

For the retailer, storefront security is a huge priority– and a huge challenge. In fact, it is almost like hitting a moving target. While many of the security issues retailers face, such as shoplifting, employee theft, burglary, smash and grab, and fraudulent claims remain the same, the tactics used to accomplish them change and become increasingly sophisticated. Crime always has an opportunistic element however; retail crime has become increasingly calculated and committed by skilled professionals. To combat crime and mitigate loss, the retailer must maximize storefront security solutions.

The news headlines can sometimes be disturbing, but crime in the retail space is nothing new. Whether it is armed robbery, an organized theft ring, or acts of vandalism, the results can be devastating. Fortunately, retailers have more advanced options in storefront security solutions than ever.  Here are some simple ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your security.

Opt into Intrusion Detection

Burglary alarm protection is essential in any retail environment. Burglaries typically happen a night or after hours. In most cases, burglars break in through a glass door or window and leave before law enforcement can arrive. A comprehensive system deters break-ins and facilitates swift police response by alerting law enforcement immediately during unauthorized access.

Control Access

Pro Tip: Controlling and restricting access to any retail space is a core security measure. Every business has areas that are more sensitive than others.

 

Access control allows you to know when a door is opened, which one, and by whom. It produces an audit trail that makes it possible to detect security problems. When your system is equipped with things like electronic locks, you can respond to any emergency even if you are not at the business by tapping into the system and locking or unlocking doors remotely via the app.

Surveillance Cameras are a Must

Commercial video surveillance systems are a cornerstone of any security system. In addition to providing important business insights, security camera systems are a visual crime deterrent. The system provides the retail owner with the tools needed to monitor all of the critical areas of the business remotely, from a computer or smartphone, viewing multiple camera feeds or even monitoring multiple facilities.

Remember the Fire and Life Safety

Whether it is new construction, upgrade or a retrofit, fire and life safety systems are another important aspect of retail security. Fires and other similar emergencies devastate lives and businesses so catching problems at the earliest stages is critical. Keep your systems operating at their best with regular testing, maintenance, and inspections.

About Security Instrument

Retail and department stores face a number of security challenges which can leave the business vulnerable to internal theft, shoplifting, fraudulent claims, as well as disasters such as fire. Security Instrument has over 50 years expertise in electronic security and life safety detection and associated monitoring.

In retail security, video surveillance is one of the most valuable and proven tools in helping to protect employees, customers, and product. A security system is an investment, but it does not have an indefinite lifespan. Eventually, it will become necessary to evaluate your security system and decide if it is time for an upgrade.

Knowing when to upgrade your retail video surveillance system can be tricky. You want to be sure to get the most from your investment, but want it to retain its usefulness. So how do you know when it is time to upgrade this critical component of retail security? Once you know the facts, it is much easier than you think.

Is the Technology Out of Date?

Think of how often we upgrade our phones, or how many additional functions your current phone has over any of your previous ones. It is easy to want to hold on to old video surveillance system technology to “get the most out of it” but doing so can actually be costing you money. Video surveillance technology is quickly evolving, and today’s additional features likely add much more value than does holding on to an old system. For example, remote management provides unattended delivery monitoring, customized alerts, remote viewing, and verification—all of which help improve productivity as well as safety. Newer technology provides other advantages too, like greatly improved image resolution, scalability, storage, and system integration over systems from just a handful of years ago.
Compare your current system’s features to that of a new retail video surveillance system. If your system does not have features that could benefit your business, or has incompatibility issues, poor video quality, or insufficient storage, it is probably time for an upgrade.

Has the Business Changed or Expanded?

If the business has changed, such as had an addition of space or if you have added an additional location or warehouse space, it is probably a good time to upgrade your existing system. Every day video surveillance technologies become much smarter than their predecessors and offer the expanding business a huge array of advantage. Wireless networks provide limitless possibility in connecting multiple cameras and multiple locations to one remote platform for ultimate control.
Security Instrument Corp. is committed to integrity and responsible business practices and invests in strengthening its capacity to serve clients with excellence.

Security and surveillance systems for businesses come with many options, and not all of them are right for every business. One of the options business owners face is whether a cloud-based system is best. When considering cloud based security options, think about long-term security goals as well as modern security threats such as internal crime like employee theft, and external threats from today’s sophisticated criminals.

Access control and video surveillance technologies are rapidly evolving, largely due to wireless and cloud-based capacities. But why should a business consider a cloud-based system? Here are just a few of the important advantages of cloud-based access control and video surveillance.

Manage Multiple Sites

Having a cloud-based security infrastructure means you can expand to multiple locations and manage each of them remotely from one platform. This means you can manage video surveillance and physical security for hundreds of locations—viewing live video, locking doors, granting or suspending access, and monitor activity logs all from your mobile phone or tablet no matter where you are.

Increased Flexibility

With increased wireless capabilities, securing doors, elevators, entrances, and exits is uninhibited. This provides the possibility of unlimited coverage and control with faster, less disruptive installations.

Remote Management

Cloud-based access control and video surveillance allows the user or administrator to view, control, and manage security remotely from their smartphone, tablet, or desktop. This means that you can respond to security needs real time, receive security alerts, and ensure that safety and procedural practices are upheld all from a mobile application.

Monitor Live Stream Video

The ability to have a wide view of activity even when you are not in the facility provides a huge advantage in monitoring the lobby, sales floor, POS, or stockrooms.

Improved System Health

Cloud-based systems also provide advantage in keeping your security system in optimum working health with automatic system updates, and cyber resilience and requiring minimal IT support.

Customized Security Reports

Another huge advantage is the ability to customize security reports with rules based email and texts. Depending on your needs, rules based texts can alert you to suspicious activity such as increased traffic by loading and unloading docks for example.

Centralize and Simplify Facility Security Operations

The advanced features offered by cloud-based security systems reduces the complexity of implementation and operation while reducing risk.

Security solutions should do more than provide security. They should also enhance your business operations by providing invaluable business insight and unlimited management capabilities. Security Instrument Corp. customizes the right system for your concerns, whether you’re the owner of a small business or Security Director of a Fortune 500 company.

Security is one of the top considerations for any business. Why? Crime has the power to take down any business and criminals are expert at what they do, and get away with it at alarming rates. While it is impossible to prevent every crime, it is possible to understand common gaps in retail security and how criminals exploit them.

Each year business owners face increasingly sophisticated criminals who prey on surprisingly common retail security vulnerabilities. Here are the top five vulnerabilities and how to solve them.

Employee Theft

Unfortunately, employee theft is an issue for every retail establishment. Annually, employees steal $50 billion from their employers and 70% of those polled admit to having stolen from their employers at least once. Shockingly, employee theft plays a role in one third of all business bankruptcies.

Burglary and Robbery

A burglary happens every four minutes somewhere in the US and in the retail sector causes significant loss. While large retail establishments can absorb some loss, it’s not without a cost that is usually passed on to the consumer. Smaller businesses are less able to recover and often never do. In addition to loss, these crimes put the lives of your employees and customers at risk.

False Liability Claims

There are many people looking to make money dishonestly through fraud and willing to put your business at risk to do it. Many of those faking injury, usually a slip and fall injury, are so exceptional at what they do that it is difficult to prove fraud without the right tools in place.

Fire

Fire and other disasters have a devastating impact on a business. Some disasters are out of your control, but others are preventable. In either case, it is possible to save lives and minimize damage.

Vandalism

Vandalism may seem like a small problem compared to the others, but not when you put it into right perspective. Every act of vandalism encourages another and essentially marks your business as an easy target for other crimes.

Protecting Your Business from the Top Five Crimes

Knowing the common vulnerabilities is not enough to protect your business. Here are some practical and strategic solutions you can implement quickly, easily, and affordably.

Keep:

  • Entry ways and parking lots well-lit
  • Landscaping low
  • Security cameras focused on registers, stock rooms, and other important areas.
  • Recorded video for at least 30 days

Use:

  • Security cameras both indoors and outside
  • A motion intrusion alarm system
  • Fencing
  • Panic buttons
  • Deadbolt locks on exterior doors
  • An access control system
  • A monitored fire and environmental alarm system

Security Instrument offers a full line of services from professionally engineered system designs and turnkey installation services to 24 hour system monitoring.

Whether you are upgrading an existing system or installing a new one, the effectiveness of your access control system will depend greatly on the preparation you do before installation in evaluating the environment, materials and circumstance as well as knowing how you will use it in the immediate and projected future.

Avoiding Extra Cost, and Headaches

As a business, you want to delegate your electronic security budget wisely and have components that are well-designed, and expertly fit to your specific objectives. That requires a bit more effort than a plug-and-play system. The good news is that if you ask yourself some simple questions, you can identify your real needs and communicate them to your commercial security company and the technician. If you have trouble nailing it down, don’t worry. A professional security integrator can help you sort out your needs and explain the various access control technology options.

Top Questions to Ask Before Installing Access Control

Here are the top questions to help you find solutions that are right for your business and facility.

Why Do You Need Access Control?

  • Do you need to increase safety by controlling entrances and exits?
  • Do you need to avoid replacing keys or rekeying locks?
  • Do you have a high employee turnover rate?
  • Is it important to know who is on the premises at all times?
  • Do you need to make certain areas off limits or accessible only to some?
  • Is it important to protect products, supplies, or equipment?
  • Do you need to closely restrict or monitor access at all times?

Should Your Access Control System Include Biometrics?

  • Are there areas you need to know when it was accessed and by whom?
  • Do you need to make certain areas off limits?

Should Your System Include the Perimeter of the Property?

  • Is it important to restrict access to more than just the exterior structure?
  • Are you wanting to prevent vandalism?
  • Do you have outdoor storage areas that need protection from theft?

Should You Have Layers of Access Control?

  • Are there other areas that need to be restricted to the public but accessible to most employees?
  • Do you need to restrict some areas to only upper-level management?

What Features Will Benefit Your Business?

  • Proximity (touchless)
  • Biometrics
  • Remote smartphone control
  • Key fobs or cards
  • Keypads
  • Scalability
  • Integration with video surveillance systems
  • Tied to other smart devices such as occupancy sensors or temperature detectors

Whether the focus is on tighter cash or inventory controls, theft detection and deterrence, or improved labor management, access control and integrated solutions from Security Instrument positively impact retail operations. Contact us today to learn more. 

About Security Instrument

Never compromise your security. Always use professionally designed and installed access control systems, specifically designed your needs. Security Instrument Corp serves thousands of retail customers throughout DE, MD, NJ, and PA with advanced security solutions for storefronts and small business owners.

 

 

It is possible to have the right security camera and not use it optimally. This is often the case when monitoring long narrow areas in commercial places. Capturing images in long narrow spaces is very difficult and until recently the only security camera options produced images with lots of useless area of wall space on either side and a very limited view of the passageway intended to be covered. However, a simple change can optimize security camera coverage of long corridors and make a huge difference in your ability to monitor a long narrow space.

The Problem With Hallways

Traditional security camera set-up provides a landscape view, or a 16:9 ratio. This is perfect if you are covering a large, wide area such as a retail floor space, conference room, lobbies or parking lots. It is not the best option for a long narrow space. Why? The image orientation results in a scene with lots of redundant space on the sides, with perhaps only one-third of the image in the middle being valuable and the other two-thirds being a wall. This means that the full area and resolution of the security camera’s sensor are not being fully utilized and anything occurring outside the limited useful view is completely missed.

Corridor View Solves the Problem

Using Avigilon HD Dome Camera and software corridor reorients the image to a “portrait” view suitable for long narrow spaces. This eliminates the unnecessary view of empty wall space and provides additional and sharper images of the actual occupied space. Essentially, it takes the 16:9 ratio and changes it to 9:16 maximizing coverage and eliminating bandwidth waste.

Achieving Corridor View

Different cameras achieve corridor view in different ways. Some cameras can be installed so that the body is rotated, and therefore the image rotated 90 degrees using the camera’s settings and configurations. Some models provide the ability to rotate the lens and the camera’s sensor after it is mounted (sometimes remotely). Still, other models crop the view to produce the landscape configured image. The result is a high quality, vertically oriented video stream optimized for your application.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is the largest privately owned security company in Delaware. Whether you’re the owner of a small business or the security director of a Fortune 500 company, Security Instrument has the right solution.

Are there benefits to having security cameras in schools? We believe they are an indispensable tool in campus safety.  On Monday, April 10th, 2017, A 53 year old man walked onto the campus of a San Bernardino California elementary school, went to the classroom of his estranged wife where she taught special education and opened fire, injuring one student, killing her and a student nearby before killing himself. You do not have to go long before another tragic headline, like this one, hits the news. It is horrible; it sickens us. It also firms our resolve to do all we can to make our schools safer.

Pro Tip: Any visitor can be a potential threat, so it is important to keep an eye on them. If you detect trouble, you can employ other safety precautions such as initiating help from law enforcement or using access control to confine the suspect.

Schools are vulnerable to crimes and acts of violence of all forms and surveillance cameras play an important role in making schools safer. Here are the top reasons why.

Deters Crime in the Area

When security cameras are placed in plain sight, studies show that it reduces criminal activity in that area. Criminals, don’t want to get caught.

Prevent Vandalism and Theft

Schools are often subject to vandalism because they have predictable off hours and inside thieves can access expensive equipment. Well-placed security cameras can deter this activity and help identify anyone that tries.

Eliminate Unauthorized Intruders

Unfortunately, schools are targets for unscrupulous people who want to victimize children. Those wishing to harm the students look like anyone else and would be difficult to detect prior to an event unless you are watching security footage regularly. Child predators of any type, whether sexual predators or drug dealers, will in most cases become familiar with the area, the school schedule, and with the patterns of a victim. School security camera systems can help you spot lurkers.

Monitor Entrances and Exits

Entrance and exit points are vulnerable so having an eye on them are essential to safety. A visible camera can deter crime, or aid in a crime event.

Monitor Corridors

Monitoring hallways and corridors is crucial to maintaining proper security. If any event occurs, having the ability to tap into the security camera system remotely will aid law enforcement.

Visitor Monitoring

We have learned that any visitor can be a potential threat, so it is important to keep an eye on them. If you detect trouble, you can employ other safety precautions such as initiating help from law enforcement or using access control to confine the suspect.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument Corp. has over 50 years of industry experience and offers a full line of security and life safety solutions to fit the needs of any campus.

The commercial environment comes with security risks completely unique to the industry and unique to the facility itself. Every commercial business needs some type of security to prevent, deter, and monitor illegal activities. How well that system serves you though, depends on several factors. We know that having it is a must, but getting video surveillance right doesn’t happen without some effort.

A well-designed video surveillance system can be any commercial business owner’s most effective weapon in their security arsenal. However, one that is ill-adapted for the purpose or application can prove to be of little use if a security event occurs. Here are some important tips in using video surveillance to protect your commercial facility, its property, and employees and visitors.

Commercial security camera systems are crucial to a business, but how well that system serves you depends on what you do right.

Know Your Risks

Every business has a unique set of risks based on factors such as location, type of business, size of facility, facility usage, and occupancy. Don’t assume your risks; know them through thorough investigation. Talk to local law enforcement and ask about local crime and why types of crimes do they see in similar facilities. Talk to other business owners in the area about how they deal with security, and ask other owners of similar businesses for their insights. Ask them about security cameras and which types they have employed. Finally, talk to security specialists to gain even more insight.

Develop a Workable  Security Plan

Great security is an ongoing undertaking with many facets. Once you have collected data, use it to develop a systematic plan of implementation for your security addressing all of the risks you uncovered. As you develop your plan of implementation, think about which commercial security cameras and CCTV systems will address the most likely issues you’d face, such as theft, accident, or violence.

Invest in the Right Commercial Security Camera and CCTV System

The security camera system is a business owner’s most effective tool in combating things like false injury claims, theft, and violence. But its effectiveness depends a great deal on a multitude of factors such as having the right type of camera in the right location, covering critical areas, camera placement to avoid glare, and many others. Because video footage is critical in any security event, proper placement is critical and always best done by an experienced professional. Here are some important points to help you choose the right security camera system and components for your facility.

  • Choose night vision cameras for the outside of your facility. Cover areas such as loading docks, parking lots, and entrances and exits.
  • Install security cameras with a wide view for a sweeping view of the facility.
  • Choose cameras appropriate for small areas to cover the stockroom or other tight areas.
  • Opt in to cameras to specifically cover POS area.
  • Install pan-tilt-zoom cameras to cover busy areas.
  • Choose a smart security system that offers remote viewing and control. Among other advantages, it helps law enforcement in the event of an emergency.

The right commercial security camera and CCTV system can help facility owners address many challenges. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Security Instrument helps both commercial and residential clients with a full line of security technologies, services an, UL listed, Factory Mutual Approved Central Station Monitoring 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 

Commercial security is complex. Not only is it unique to each industry, it is also unique to each particular business and location. One of the many factors that require special consideration is the cameras used in the surveillance system. There are many different types of cameras, each one with functions and capabilities that make them best fit for particular applications.

If you are implementing security cameras in your business, it helps to have a basic knowledge of the cameras that could be used, so you know which ones are best fit to meet the needs of your location.

What is a Bullet Camera?

Bullet cameras, also know of as lipstick cameras, get their name from their sleek shape which resembles the rifle bullet. These cameras are usually fairly small, around 2 to 2.5 inches long and have a fixed focal point lens. With their versatile design, the bullet camera is usually compatible for indoor and outdoor use and often offer a substantial viewing range.

Dome Cameras Have Something to Offer, Too.

Dome cameras are attached to the ceiling or wall and encased in an inverted dome casing, from where it gets its name. the dome is usually tinted to obscure the camera itself so that it is impossible to see where the camera is pointed. These cameras offer a lot of variety and come in CCTV or IP, fixed or mobile, and outdoor and indoor. They may have thermal vision, infrared illuminators, day use, as well as mini and micro versions.

PTZ Cameras are Intelligent

PTZ cameras, or pan tilt zoom cameras look like dome cameras, and are also encased in a hard-shell dome which both protects it and obscures the camera’s direction from curious onlookers. PTZ cameras differ though in that they have more capabilities and are capable of remote direction and zoom control. Typically used in surveillance, the PTZ is also a tool used in video conferencing, live production, lecture capture, distance learning, as well as many other applications. In some cases, you might want to consider this camera to serve your business in more than one way in areas that serve more than one purpose.

Which One is Best?

So, now you might be wondering which camera is best. The truth is that neither of them out do the other because they all have capabilities that make them best for a particular application. The right security camera for your application will always outperform one meant for another application. This makes professional installation by a security professional a must. In fact, security camera application is much more than a simple “point and shoot” and involves factoring in a huge number of dynamics such as camera location, intent, lighting, time and conditions of use, obstructions, and site layout just to note a few.

When it comes to security camera technologies, the choice in camera largely depends on how and where you use them. For the best results, it makes sense to have the advice of security camera professionals who know the technology and can use each one to play to their strengths for the most effective security system. If you’d like more information on security camera technology, give us a call. Security Instrument Corp. has been securing what matters since 1960.